Wandering Son: Book One

Overview

A sensitive masterprice from Japan’s most prominent creator of LGBT manga.
The fifth grade. The threshold to puberty, and the beginning of the end of childhood innocence. Shuichi Nitori and his new friend Yoshino Takatsuki have happy homes, loving families, and are well-liked by their classmates. But they share a secret that further complicates a time of life that is awkward for anyone: Shuichi is a boy who wants to be a girl, and Yoshino is a girl who wants to be a boy. Written...
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Overview

A sensitive masterprice from Japan’s most prominent creator of LGBT manga.
The fifth grade. The threshold to puberty, and the beginning of the end of childhood innocence. Shuichi Nitori and his new friend Yoshino Takatsuki have happy homes, loving families, and are well-liked by their classmates. But they share a secret that further complicates a time of life that is awkward for anyone: Shuichi is a boy who wants to be a girl, and Yoshino is a girl who wants to be a boy. Written and drawn by one of today’s most critically acclaimed creators of manga, Shimura portrays Shuishi and Yoshino’s very private journey with affection, sensitivity, gentle humor, and unmistakable flair and grace. Book One introduces our two protagonists and the friends and family whose lives intersect with their own. Yoshino is rudely reminded of her sex by immature boys whose budding interest in girls takes clumsily cruel forms. Shuichi’s secret is discovered by Saori, a perceptive and eccentric classmate. And it is Saori who suggests that the fifth graders put on a production of The Rose of Versailles for the farewell ceremony for the sixth graders — with boys playing the roles of women, and girls playing the roles of men.Wandering Son is a sophisticated work of literary manga translated with rare skill and sensitivity by veteran translator and comics scholar Matt Thorn.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This manga about gender dissonance by Shimura, well-known for her treatment of lesbian and transgender issues, tells the story of a friendship between Shuichi, a young boy who wishes he were a girl, and Yoshino, a young girl who wishes she were a boy. The standard manga tone—chatty, cute, in which characters are affectionately introduced and their quirks described with many an exclamation point—goes far in portraying deeply rooted gender issues in the midst of the normal social shifts among a group of fifth graders. Shuichi's impulses toward a female identity feel confusing and shameful to him, and it's the girls in his life—first Yoshino, and then Saori—who point out his difference and encourage it. In one of the first episodes, Shuichi tries on a dress that Yoshino has cast off, and finds that he feels good in it. Later, during rehearsals of a play, the students switch gender roles, so that Shuichi is playing the character of Rosalie. Both children are teased mercilessly by their classmates, whose sexual development, while perhaps more socially normative, is just as confusing to them. A prologue by Thorn explaining Japanese honorifics is key to a story about two young people figuring out who they are in relation to the society and people around them. (July)
Brigid Alverson - MTV Geek
“Wandering Son is a delightful, quiet manga about a girly boy and a boyish girl.... This is not your typical gender-bender manga playing a gender switch for laughs (and fanservice); it's a quiet, subtle story of a boy coming to terms with himself.”
Terry Hong - BookDragon (Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program)
“In the series’ debut-in-English, Shimura treats both protagonists’ journeys of self-discovery with gentle honesty; her characters are wide-eyed and adorable, uncertain and searching.”
Anna Neatrour - Manga Report
“...Shimura Takako is a master at portraying subtle events in a slice of life story about adolescence that never feels didactic.... Like the storyline, Shimura’s art is simple but nuanced.... As you’d expect from Fantagraphics, the production quality for Wandering Son is excellent.”
Shannon Fay - Kuriousity
“What makes Wandering Son work is its slow-burn pace and calm atmosphere. It takes a delicate subject – transgender children- and explores it slowly and carefully. Much like its characters, it moves at its own pace, easing the reader into the characters’ lives.”
Kat Callahan - Jezebel - ROYGBIV
“...[B]eing a trans woman means I'm used to seeing awful depictions of my lived experiences. I do not see me, and that is when I see trans women or trans people in general depicted at all. Until [Wandering Son]... I had never seen my own narrative depicted. At least not closely or accurately.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606994160
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
  • Publication date: 7/5/2011
  • Series: Wandering Son Series
  • Pages: 192
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Shimura Takako lives in Tokyo, Japan.
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2012

    What a wonderful book! Well done and great quality. You will not

    What a wonderful book! Well done and great quality. You will not regret buying this or the second volume either.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2011

    Beautiful Story

    This is a wonderful series about a group of kids growing up and the problems they face. It is very realistic and touching and really delves into the emotions and thoughts of the characters.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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